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article imageRatings: Super Bowl settles in at No. 3 behind last two games

By Tim O'Brien     Feb 5, 2013 in Entertainment
With the third-highest TV broadcast in history, many more eyes than the average TV show were focused on the Super Bowl Feb. 3.
As the early numbers were being tallied, some were noting a record already, but with an event such as this, there will be different ways of looking at it. First, the metered market was a record. But, that mean a market in one city could very well set a record but overall viewership doesn't always follow. If that record metered market would be in New York of L.A. it just might follow.
The 48.1/71 for Sunday's game had the highest-rated Super Bowl in the metered markets in history. The previous high was (2/6/11; 47.9/71; FOX; Green Bay-Pittsburgh). But, the overall game was third, behind last year and the year before that. At 108.4 million viewers, that is nothing to be depressed about at CBS. It had the drama, the spectacle and a power outage.
The power outage, however, did not get tallied in to the results. So, throw in an asterisk in you choose.
After the dust settled and the power restored, here are the final numbers.
Highest viewership in TV history
1. Super Bowl XLVI - 111.3 million
2. Super Bowl XLV – 111.0 million
3. Super Bowl XLVII - 108.41 million
To get a grasp on that, think about a presidential election or the recent inauguration.Those events are aired on many channels and still do not come close. The Super Bowl is on one channel and attacks that size of an audience. America loves its football.
The recent inauguration was seen by 20.8 million, or about the same amount as an episode of "NCIS." Remember, the inauguration was on many channels and added up to get that figure. President Obama's first was 37.8 million. A far cry from the Super Bowl. Nielsen said 18 networks covered it. "NCIS" recently scored its highest audience ever at 22.3 million.
Of course, these numbers only reflect the United States households. Tracking the worldwide numbers isn't always reliable. As an event like the Oscars, Super Bowl, and the like, they quote is usually the same. For example, the releases for the Oscars has this line in it: The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide. But the numbers will be around 38-45 million. Again, U.S. figures only. Using worldwide figures gets tricky and rather skewed.
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